Devil Cares: Chapter Twelve

May 27, 2008 at 4:52 pm (Devil Cares) ()

Well, here it is. And ten minutes early, even.
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Fuller and Fuller Law Offices was a cozy little building on the corner of Third and Maple. The façade was cheery and bright, the inside décor warm and inviting. Even the secretary, who Barrett realized after a beat was Melissa Jones, was dressed in a charming cream colored skirt suit. She rose as the boys walked in, and came around to give Barrett a hug.
“Oh, Barrett I’m so sorry,” she said, “I was out of town when I heard about your parents. I rushed home as fast as I could, but I missed the funeral.”
She pulled away, her vivid green eyes full of very sincere sympathy. “If there’s anything you boys need, any thing at all, don’t you hesitate to pick up that phone. My number’s the same. I’ll go tell Mr. Fuller you’re here. Nice to see you, Kimber.”
Kimber eyed the leggy brunette as she walked away, recognition dawning. “Barrett, was that Missy Jones?”
“Yeah, dawg!” Wesson crowed. “They had a thing the summer after you left.”
“Wow, I remember when she was that scrawny tomboy who used to beat you up,” Kimber laughed.
Defensively, Barrett replied, “I let her win.”
“Yeah, right,” Wes scoffed. At the same time Kimber drawled, “Of course you did.”
Barrett had returned Charlie Fuller’s phone call as soon as they’d bandaged up his hip and Kimber’s cheek properly. Charlie had agreed to meet them the very next day at two o’clock. He’d told them that all three of them needed to come. Kimber had forced them all to wear slacks and a nice shirt, though he’d relented when Barrett had thrown a fit about wearing a tie.
Melissa returned. “You can go on in now.”
Kimber reached out to snag her arm. “Missy, I meant to ask you. How’s your grandmother?”
Laughing, she replied, “Oh, still a pistol. The nurses up at Bright View run in terror. You should go see her, she asks about you sometimes.”
Wryly, Kimber said, “I don’t know about that, she’d probably give me hell and a half for leaving.
Grinning, Melissa agreed, “Probably.”
Her eyes strayed to the white medical bandages on his cheek. “Oh, Kimber, what did you do?”
A bit embarrassed he raised his hand to the wound. “It’s nothing, really. I was just a bit clumsy with a razor.”
“A bit?”
Charlie poked his bright red head out of his office door. “Melissa, you leave that boy alone. We need him in here.”
Chagrined, Kimber said, “I’ll be right there. It was nice seeing you Missy.”
She leaned in to give him a hug. “It really was. I meant what I said about my grandma. She’d get a kick out of seeing you.”
“I might just pay her a visit,” he said.
As he was walking toward Charlie’s office, Melissa called out. “Hey, when you get a minute give me a call. We should go out and catch up.”
He turned back to her for a moment. “I’d like that.”
The chairs in Charlie’s office were rich brown leather, and drew in a person’s body like heavenly clouds. Whoever had designed the Fullers’ office building had really outdone themselves.
Charlie was the second Fuller in the building’s name, the son of Charles Fuller who had founded the practice. Both of them had radiant red hair and a smattered across their faces of the most random freckles known to man. Their eyes were an identical shade of brown as well, as far as Kimber remembered.
“Sorry it took me this long to call you, boys,” he was saying, “but your parents left strict instructions to get everything in order before I called you down here.”
“Our parents were particular people, Charlie,” Kimber said, “we completely understand.”
He nodded. “Right, then. Let’s get to it.”
A folder full of various legal documents was sitting on the top of Charlie’s white marble desk. “This here is your parents’ will. I’m not going to read all of it for you like they do on TV shows, as I know you all can read. I’ll just break it down for you in plain language and then you can peruse it at your own discretion.”
He passed some papers across the desk. “That is the deed to a property in California. It consists of a small acreage of personal property and then some land surrounding it. Their will told us to sell the land and split the profits between you. It’s already been snatched up and the money put in your personal accounts in the bank downtown, so you don’t have to worry about that.”
“Did they leave any instructions about the personal property?” asked Kimber.
“Not in the will, other than that it be split in threes between you,” Charlie replied. “It’s yours now to do with as you like. Let’s see.”
He ruffled through some papers. “They bought their life insurance from some big out of state company so it will probably be awhile before you see any of that money. From what I understand it was a pretty substantial sum. Kimber, this is for you.”
Kimber accepted the papers Charlie handed him. “Wait a minute, this names me executor of their estate. Why me?”
Charlie shrugged. “I have no idea, but you need to file that with the court as soon as possible so you can take over all of this stuff from us.”
He turned to Barrett next. “This is yours, it gives you custody of Wesson until he comes of age. You need to get that filed right away, also.”
Both of the brothers stared blankly down at the documents in their hands, overwhelmed.
A small black box was sitting on the desk and Charlie pushed it towards them. “This is a key to a safety deposit box at the bank. You can only get into them by appointment so I called and scheduled you tomorrow at one. If that’s inconvenient I can call them back.”
“No, that should be fine,” Barrett said.
“The last item on the agenda for today,” Charlie went on, “states that the Mossberg family ranch must also be split in equal thirds among you. All the items inside of the house are yours to split up as you see fit.”
He passed the rest of the papers across to Kimber. “That’s really it, boys. The insurance should get around to contacting you guys eventually. They’ll need to send someone out to investigate the claim. By the time they get around to that the bridge will probably be repaired, so they’ll just have the police office’s records to go on. Assuming the police rule it an accident, and I’m sure they will, getting the money after that step shouldn’t take too long.”
As he showed them out he said, “Oh, and have a Merry Christmas. Don’t let things get you down, just enjoy the season.”
Barrett promised they would, they all said goodbye to Melissa and then they were out the door.
“God, I can’t believe this,” Kimber said once they were out of ear shot and heading to the truck.
“What? That they made you executor?” Wes asked.
“Yes, that. It makes no sense, unless…” Kimber trailed off thoughtfully.
Barrett said, “They probably did it before you moved to Chicago. I mean you always were better with this stuff, and they probably just forgot to change it.”
“I doubt it,” Kimber disagreed, “when did they ever let things go like that? No, they did this deliberately, and I think I know why.”
“Oh, here we go,” Barrett sighed.
“Well, think about it, Barrett,” he said. “They gave you custody of Wes and gave me the control over their estate? Can’t you see what they were trying to do? I will not be manipulated in this fashion by anyone, especially from beyond the grave.”
“Oh, for God’s sake, Kimber,” his older brother snapped, “not everything is a conspiracy.”
“I’m not staying in Montana, Barrett.” He said, “I’ll do whatever I can while I’m here and then I’ll petition the court to give this power over to you and we can all go on with our lives.”
“These were our parents last wishes,” Barrett protested, “we should honor them. Would staying here for awhile really be so horrible?”
Kimber opened his mouth to angrily retort, but Wes cut him off. “Guys, can you not have this fight right now?”
With what seemed like a conscious act of will, Kimber closed his mouth and forced whatever he had been going to say away. “Wes is right. We’ll have this conversation in a controlled, rational manner at a later date.”
Barrett snorted. “Whatever.”
Wes sighed. “Can’t you two at least pretend to get along?”
“Would you stop at the store please, eldest brother mine?” Kimber asked in a politely blank voice as he followed Wes inside the cab of the truck. “We’re running out of things that don’t come from a week-old funeral.”
“I would be happy to,” Barrett answered in a falsely calm voice of his own.
You know, Wes thought, maybe this is worse.


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4 Comments

  1. Tom Humes said,

    Nice Site layout for your blog. I am looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

  2. Yahrlan said,

  3. Zappaz said,

    Ooh, more drama! ^_^

    Wonderful as always.

  4. jekloneo said,

    I particularly liked the last bit. 🙂

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